I tasted the lovely Giacomo Conterno 2016 Barolo Cerretta in the context of a mini vertical that included 2017 and a barrel sample of 2018. Each of these wines is purely distinctive on its own, with 2018 showing structural power to the palate, 2017 offering high notes of red and purple fruits to the nose, and this 2016 showing an underlying radiance and brilliance that marries the intensity of the bouquet and the mouthfeel. The wine starts off a bit rigid and nervous, but that initial shyness is normal in the progression of a young Barolo from Cerretta in Serralunga d'Alba, especially at this five-year mark in its evolution. It opens gradually but completely to reveal wild berry fruit, blackcurrants, rusty nail and blood orange. These classic aromas follow to silky tannins, pretty freshness and long-lasting textural richness. ML
The 2016 Barolo Cerretta is an incredibly elegant wine, so much so that opening a bottle now is far from a crime. That may sound heretical, but it’s a good example of how finessed young Barolo can be when it gets the kind of care it has here. It’s also important to note that while Cerretta is in Serralunga, this pocket of vineyards is more similar to those in La Morra in terms of geology, so the wines are correspondingly much more approachable in their youth. Silky tannins wrap around a core of bright red berry fruit, spice and floral notes in a pliant, mid-weight Barolo that is all class.
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